Cologne (dpa) – More than 28 billion advertising brochures end up in the mailboxes of German households each year: a gigantic flood of paper that often ends up in the garbage can unread. However, there are more and more signs that the era of the flyer is coming to an end. After Germany’s largest hardware chain, Obi, the supermarket chain Rewe also announced on Wednesday that it will soon be resigning from brochures. “Booklet printing and distribution will stop as of July 1, 2023.” Obi has no brochures since June.
Brochures and leaflets are still one of the most popular advertising media in Germany. Millions of them end up in mailboxes every week. They are a particularly attractive advertising medium for retailers. “Many families read them over breakfast on Saturdays. They are actively consumed – and that is why they are so valuable to retailers. This is something completely different than showering with TV commercials, radio spots or internet banners and more or less reluctantly to persevere, “reports Jens-Peter Gödde from the Cologne Retail Research Institute (IFH). According to a representative survey by IFH Media Analytics, 90 percent of people in Germany read printed brochures at least occasionally – even a good three-quarters of all respondents weekly.
For retail chains, giving up brochures and leaflets is not without risk. On the other hand, the disadvantages of this method are also obvious. “Billions of printed advertisements produced lead to massive amounts of unnecessary waste, waste of resources and are driving climate change en masse,” laments German environmental aid. At the same time, the dramatic increase in the cost of paper increases the pressure on retailers to find other ways to reach customer awareness.
According to Rewe itself, about 25 million leaflets are distributed each week. The head of Rewe, Lionel Souque, emphasized that the abandonment of brochures significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Conversion saves over 73,000 tonnes of paper, 70,000 tonnes of CO2, 1.1 million tonnes of water and 380 million kilowatt hours of energy per year. Instead of brochures, the group wants to focus more on digital channels and advertising in traditional media. As a first step, Rewe wants to cut the circulation of the brochures by four million from the beginning of August.
The Federal Managing Director of the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), Leif Miller, praised Rewe’s step as “an important decision for nature that will hopefully be followed by many competitors in the food retailer.”
However, other sectors are a bit further away. The DIY Obi network has no brochures since June. “The production and printing of paper and the distribution of brochures cost a lot of energy, chemicals, water and of course trees. It doesn’t fit in with today’s world anymore, ”the company emphasized, referring instead to its own application, which it currently uses. by three million customers and customers were downloaded.
However, reactions to Obi’s Facebook move have been mixed. There were praises: “It’s good … !! Nobody needs it …” and “That’s great! I hope many others will get rid of the brochures too!” But there was also criticism: “If I can no longer compare the offers in brochures so nicely, it’s a pity”, or even “OBI shows that customers are not wanted.”
However, according to industry expert Gödde, the abandonment of advertising brochures is even more of a challenge for grocery stores, especially discounters, than for DIY stores. “There are a lot of people who use it to plan their weekly purchases and decide where to shop this time,” he says. He believes that, with the rising prices of groceries and the efforts of many consumers to keep their money and take advantage of special offers, brochures should now become even more important.
So it’s no surprise that other sellers are more cautious than Rewe. “Right now, many customers expect brochures to be delivered to find out where to buy the cheapest food of the best quality,” for example, Aldi Süd defended the brochure at the request of the DPA. Lidl also emphasized: “The home flyer is the central carrier of our marketing activities by which we inform customers in specific areas about upcoming offers and new products.” It is preferred by customers.
But Aldi and Lidl are now also expanding their digital flyer range. “Even though the print edition is very popular, our experience has shown that more and more customers are turning to digital offers,” says Aldi Nord.
However, the big names in retail have already proved that it is possible to do without printed brochures. Swedish furniture giant Ikea announced the end of its printed Ikea catalog at the end of 2020. Otto’s mail order company already stopped producing a 656-page Otto catalog in 2018. “We didn’t suffer from it at all. There were no slumps in sales, a company spokesman said this week.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220727-99-168956 / 3